A return to Jamaica after 15 years

CIDT long-term associate Patt Flett was recently in Kingston, Jamaica to deliver training as part of CIDT’s support to the Caribbean Development Bank’s Project Cycle Management training programme. The visit was particularly poignant for Patt as from 2000-2003 she lived in Jamaica as a long-term technical advisor to the Jamaica All Age Schools Project (JAASP).

CIDT managed this three year DFID-funded project working with 48 remote, rural ‘All-Age schools’, many perched on inaccessible mountain tops, and representing each of the six education regions of the island. The purpose of the project was to provide better education for children in poor rural communities and, through this, to contribute to improve their lifetime opportunities. Read more about JAASP outcomes at school, pupil, community and government levels.

Patt had these reflections:

“JAASP was one of the most rewarding projects I have ever worked on. Most rewarding for me was the opportunity to work alongside the education officers supporting the headteachers, teachers and local communities in their schools; to feel a close part of everything that was happening. It also gave me the chance to explore many remote and incredibly beautiful parts of Jamaica. As soon as I heard the CDB programme was to be delivered in Jamaica I said Me! Me! Please!

As well as having a thoroughly enjoyable time with the participants in the CDB PCM workshops, I also managed to catch up with old friends from the project. One is now a Deputy Chief Education Officer and another is a consultant supporting schools across Jamaica. Through them I heard of others we had worked with, mostly good news, some sad. Seeing the Blue Mountains reminded me of trips to Penlyne school at the end of a steep 4-wheel drive mountain track. I couldn’t be in Jamaica without driving through to Mandeville, where I’d been based. Going to church with a close friend on Sunday was a friendly homecoming. Little has changed in Mandeville, it was wonderful to return and feel instantly at home. I have so many good memories of my time in Jamaica, both related to the project and my own experiences; memories of the kindness and joy that can be found everywhere on this beautiful island.”

PCM training
Patt Flett delivering Project Cycle Management training.

During her recent visit Patt facilitated modules in Project Design, Project Management, Risk Management and Train the Trainer for Government of Jamaica civil servants, mostly at the Director level. Other members of the CIDT training team delivering in Jamaica were Susan Branker Greene and Sergei Prozarau. Monitoring and Evaluation proved to be a particularly hot topic, with 32 participants attending and more being turned away due to the size of the venue. Participants attended from 15 Ministries and Government agencies with the highest representation from the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries; and the Cabinet office.

“I learnt a lot and it has given me a whole new perspective on why each step in doing a project is important.”

“This was a great learning opportunity. I found the content to be very useful and applicable to my current job.” 

“The experience was good and discussions were rich.  I also learnt from other participants as we shared on the various topics.”

“Learning experience was excellent. Great facilitator, great content, great delivery!”

CDB module participants

Read more about the CDB PPAM and PCM training programme here:

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